Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), heading up a group championing agricultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, met with Beijing's top official in charge of Taiwan affairs, Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) for talks yesterday.
During the meeting with Hsu's 21-member group, Chen, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said that agricultural sectors on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should bolster their exchanges and cooperation, given that the two sides have many complementary characteristics and share common interests.
Hsu then engaged in a closed-door meeting with Chen.
Hsu has recently co-founded a new political group , the Taiwan Democratic School. He is also running for a seat in next month's legislative elections as an independent.
Hsu and the delegation is scheduled to meet with Hui Liangyu (回良玉), a State Council vice premier in charge of agricultural affairs, today for talks on the feasibility of stepped-up agricultural ties across the Strait.
In related news, Zhang Mao (張矛), the vice mayor of Beijing said yesterday that his city may use lessons learned in Taipei's public transportation systems to help alleviate potential traffic jams during the 2008 Olympic Games in the capital.
Talking to visiting members from the Taipei Journalists Association, Zhang said that Beijing will develop the city's mass rapid transportation system to avoid a traffic nightmare from taking place during the Games.
Beijing City authorities may borrow Taipei's experiences in streamlining its traffic conditions, including opening exclusive traffic lanes for buses, Zhang told Taiwanese journalists.
Answering a reporter's question as to whether Beijing will consider inviting Taipei to jointly host some events of the 2008 Olympic Games, Zhang said some people have suggested that Beijing move the equestrian competition to Hong Kong, taking advantage of the special administrative region's long history of horse racing.